What is Lead Conversion?
Lead conversion can be defined as a marketing and sales process that involves converting leads (prospects) into customers through the use of nurturing strategies such as behavior automation, retargeting, and email nurturing. The process of lead conversion begins after leads have been generated.
Why should companies seek to improve Lead Conversion?
Lead conversion plays a critical role in the success of your business. It directly correlates with the revenue your company brings in. The higher your lead conversion rate is, the more money you have coming through the door. And while it’s great to generate leads (prospects) through various marketing efforts, it won’t mean much if none of them are converting into paying customers, which is ultimately your end goal. Put another way, no matter how many leads you have, if they aren’t becoming customers then your business will eventually fail.
When should companies focus on addressing it?
Regardless of the industry or company type, lead conversion should always be on the forefront of your marketing and sales teams initiatives. It’s most critical with start-up and new companies when income is absolutely vital to keep the company in business. However, even in well established companies, it still largely can affect how successful they can be.
Another thing to note about lead conversion; it can never be perfected! It would probably be every company’s dream to attain a 100% lead conversion rate. Could you imagine what that would look like? If every lead generated turned into a customer then the only important aspect for companies to address would be lead generation. However, we know that’s not possible which means there’s always room for improvement to boost lead conversion rates. Without a doubt, lead conversion is important and plays a critical role in the success of a business, so the question now becomes “How can I boost my company’s lead conversion rates?”
How can companies leverage nurture programs to improve Lead Conversion with Marketo Engage?
Marketo Engage, one of our primary tools of choice at Etumos, is a powerful marketing automation platform that allows us to take our client’s marketing efforts to the next level. To be more specific, it helps businesses automate and measure marketing engagement, tasks, and workflows. It allows marketers to provide a steady stream of content at a consistent cadence (otherwise known as lead nurturing) to their prospects and customers while doing so in a manner that is efficient and scalable. It works in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customers (B2C) settings and allows marketers to target prospects, qualified leads, and customers with automated and personalized email marketing campaigns.
In addition to providing content, it is also a powerful tool to be used for lead management. It can store lead records and any important data that’s captured which can come from filling out a form, opening and/or clicking through an email, visiting a Marketo built webpage, or registering for an event or webinar. It can also be synced to a customer relationship management software (CRM) which can provide your marketing operations team with accurate information on prospects and customers in real time, and as a result, will create a roadmap to follow so you can personalize and enhance the buyer’s journey by providing content that’s likely to resonate with them.
It’s clear that Marketo Engage provides all of the resources necessary to send tailored content to your target audience while storing critical behavioral data that will dictate the content you send in the future. Consequently, this is all information you’ll need to create your own nurture programs (otherwise known as engagement programs) that can be effective in converting prospects to customers. Before building a nurture program though, you’ll need to understand the Marketing funnel and how it relates to the buyer’s journey.
A marketing funnel can be defined as the journey a prospect will take starting from awareness and eventually leading to conversion, with conversion being the purchase of your products or services. There are three stages to the funnel: top of funnel (TOFU), middle of funnel (MOFU), and bottom of funnel (BOFU). The TOFU stage is the widest because any prospect can fit into this category. Your primary goal in this stage is to provide general information about your products or services to gain some interest amongst your audience. Individuals may have little to no interest in your company at this time. If a prospect transitions to the MOFU stage, they are more likely to become a paying customer since they’ve expressed some level of interest in your product or service. Still though, they aren’t quite ready to purchase anything. The content you provide to these leads should include more details on your products or services and be done in a way that promotes purchasing behavior. Once again, the funnel becomes thinner at this stage since only a certain number of people will make the transition from TOFU to MOFU. Leads who are able to progress from MOFU to BOFU have now become your most qualified leads. These individuals are ready to purchase and are people you want to retain for the possibility of future purchases. In this stage, your sales team should be working more directly with prospects and content should be provided that will lead to these individuals taking action.
Now that you have a general understanding of the marketing funnel, you’ll have some guidance in building out your engagement email programs in Marketo Engage that will effectively improve your lead conversion rates in the most efficient way possible. There’s no specified amount of content needed to constitute each stage of the funnel in your program, it’s really your call in determining how many emails you want and the cadence in which they’re sent to your leads. You’ll just want the structure of your nurture program to have a TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU programs within it, and each having content relevant and relatable to the leads who will fall into these categories. Having your leads placed in the appropriate stage will ensure they’re getting the most appropriate content. To determine how leads progress from one stage to the next, you can create a lead scoring model. The sales and marketing teams should contribute to help create a model so that both teams are aligned on what determines the stage of each lead as well as when they can be deemed a marketing qualified lead (MQL) vs a sales qualified lead (SQL). A lead scoring model will help determine when someone becomes a MQL and therefore, when it’s appropriate to pass them off to sales as a SQL. Lead scoring will be based on certain actions your lead engages in. It could look something like this:
- Content page view = 5 points
- Product page view = 10 points
- Case study views = 10 points
- Downloads content = 10 points
- Fills out contact form = 20 points
Whatever threshold you determine is appropriate for each stage will allow the lead to progress from one to the next. Sales and marketing need to be on the same page to make the model successful. If done correctly, your nurture program will target the right leads with content that resonates the most with them.
Lead conversion is a foundational aspect of every business. At the end of the day, it’s the driving factor behind revenue generation and will dictate the longevity and success of a company. By understanding the marketing funnel and how the buyer’s journey ties in with it, you’ll be able to create a nurture program in Marketo Engage in the most effective way. While generating leads is critical, it only constitutes half of the equation in running a successful business. Converting those leads into paying customers is the other half and is undoubtedly the more difficult task to accomplish. Having the right kind of nurture program in place will bridge the gap between lead generation and lead conversion and will allow your business to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. If you’re interested in boosting your lead conversion rates, contact us today to get started!